"Subject: From Baghdad." "Despite President Bush's rosy assessments, Iraq remains a disaster. If under Saddam it was a 'potential' threat, under the Americans it has been transformed to 'imminent and active threat,' a foreign policy failure bound to haunt the United States for decades to come." Anyone who saw the Sept. 30 presidential debate can attest it wouldn't hurt W to read something once in a while. With the insurgency growing and most reconstruction projects halted for security reasons, maybe Bush can start with this e-mail from Wall Street Journal reporter Farnaz Fassihi, posted Sept. 29 on the Poynteronline Web site for journalists. poynter.org/forum/?id=misc
"Bush Policies Drive Surge in Corporate Tax Freeloading." Corporations have long found ways around the tax code, but Bush's Republicans have tossed in a few more. According to a report by Citizens for Tax Justice (Sept. 22), that's how a growing number of giant, profitable firms not only avoid paying corporate income taxes, but actually pick up rebates from the U.S. Treasury. At least the tax breaks helped the economy, right? Well, no. Among the beneficiaries of such new write-offs as accelerated depreciation, the 25 biggest (GE, Citigroup, Microsoft, ExxonMobil, et al.) spent the Bush years slashing their investments, the study found. www.ctj.org/
"Secrecy in the Bush Administration." If you think democracy means openness, the Bush administration has a bone to pick. The White House has spent the past 44 months undermining laws designed to promote public access to information -- including the decades-old Freedom of Information Act -- and strengthening laws that let the government withhold info or operate in secret. That means, for one, a huge rise in the classification of documents. A report (Sept.14) from U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) details how Bush tries to keep the press and public from knowing how the public's business is minded. democrats.reform.house.gov/features/secrecy_report/index.asp
"Red Alert." Republicans who feared, just after 9/11, that a new Department of Homeland Security would be another unwieldy experiment in "big government" needn't have worried: Despite some successes, reports Matthew Brzezinski in Mother Jones (September/October), the DHS is politically marginalized, and underfunded enough to drown in the bathtub. "Defending the homeland simply doesn't appear to have captured the imagination of the White House the way, say, a firefight in Falluja does," writes Brzezinski. www.motherjones.com/news/feature/2004/09/08_400.html
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